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Toyosatomimi no Miko

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"Miko" redirects here. For the occupation, see Shrine Maiden.
豊聡耳 (とよさとみみ)   () 神子 (みこ)
Toyosatomimi no Miko
tojosatomʲimʲi no mʲiko (♫)
Miko Toyosatomimi
Toyosatomimi no Miko
Toyosatomimi no Miko in Hopeless Masquerade
Shoutoku Taoist
More Character Titles
Species

Saint, Hermit

Abilities

Listening to ten people's conversations at the same time.

Age

1440 (Born February 7, 574)

Location

Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum, Senkai

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

Toyosatomimi no Miko (豊聡耳 神子) is a saint who spread Buddhism across the country as ruler while Seiga Kaku taught her Taoism. As a follower of Taoism training to attain immortality, she now lives her life in a simple, carefree manner as a hermit.

General Information

Miko was the final boss of Ten Desires and became a playable character in Hopeless Masquerade. Although she is a hermit (shikaisen) just like Mononobe no Futo, the fact that she was specially designated as "saint" may be due to the difference that Futo never having stopped being an ordinary human.

She is also a true divine spirit, who are not the same as Yaoyorozu no Kami. Divine spirits are souls that are revered as gods. There are those who become a god while alive and those who became god after death, but it's unclear which one Miko is. As the power of divine spirits is the power of faith, so that if there is more faith, then they would have greater power over humans and youkai, but the reverse is also true.

Personality

Miko is characterized as being "surprisingly casual", and frequently jokes around. Though she's a fully immortal hermit, she still tends to get involved in secular affairs because of her origins as a ruler. During combat, however, she displays no sign of weakness and seems to completely see through her opponents. As a hermit, she isn't concerned about teaching her techniques to the many that want to become her disciples, and simply uses them as servants and couriers. She's cooperative and friendly towards humans in general, though. Due to her ability however, she may not listen to people's conversation.

In speech, first person, she uses the word "watashi" (, "I") in first person and "kimi" (, "you") in second. It also seems like she uses "anata" (貴方 "you") for those who acknowledge her true power. Since she's a saint, it would be appropriate for her to be polite in general. She apologised for being impolite to Reimu Hakurei when fighting her and invited Reimu to her home in Senkai.

Abilities

In her profile in Ten Desires and in Symposium of Post-mysticism, it's mentioned that Miko has performed many superhuman feats. The ones listed here are the specific ones ZUN describes.

Listening to ten people's conversations at the same time

As literally stated, Prince Shoutoku – according to legend – was so smart that he could understand ten people questioning him at once, and reply to each of them with perfect answers. This is pointed out by her name, "Toyosatomimi". Because of this ability Miko's ears are extremely sensitive, leading her to wear earmuffs.

Miko, who is from a high noble family, has from a young age heard many grumbles from government officials around her. Although one would think that nobody is usually able to understand such government officials, she understood all of it, and was able to give precise instructions to them. The aforementioned thus became a rumour that spread throughout society, and thus she gained tremendous popularity as a saint.

In addition to this ability, where she's gained the power of faith through a long sleep, gained the ability to hear other people's desires. By listening to the other's "ten desires" simultaneously, she's got insights into the other's true nature, personality and motives, and thus is able to know everything about the other person, although originally such an act wasn't possible before. This is as pointed out in the game's title Ten Desires. However, this ability is not all-powerful, since she has trouble analysing those who inherently lack one or more of the ten desires. In the case of Youmu Konpaku, who – as an irregularity – lacks desire; this is due to being a half-phantom who lacks desire of neither life nor death, so Miko is unable to completely understand her. She's also unable to read Koishi Komeiji at all.

On a related note, despite the fact that she has this ability, "she fundamentally does not listen to people's conversations". It is likely that by hearing the other's desires, it would seem that she would hear others' conversations with the belief that she understands the other already, and that the contents and flow of the conversation has already been self-completed. Thus, on stage 6 of Ten Desires, the moment the main character meet with her, by her ability she gained understanding, and without consent or refusal progressed the conversation. She understood Reimu, Marisa and Sanae as she conceived them, but talked to Youmu based completely on a misunderstanding. Although Youmu tries to point it out and tell about her true nature, she doesn't listen at all and simply talked more as she wished.

Abilities as a shikaisen

Miko is trained in Taoist magic, seeming to favor spells themed around light and swords. She has displayed a number of abilities typically associated with hermits, including shukuchi movement (with the aid of a cape)[1].

Attracting desire

Miko has displayed the ability to attract and absorb desires from her surroundings (usually in the form of vulgar spirits) to increase her power. In Hopeless Masquerade this takes the form of a secondary popularity meter, increasing or reducing her stats depending on the crowd's opinion of her. It is unclear whether this ability is related to her status as a saint and/or god, or simply an extension of her ability to hear desires.

Occupation

Miko's a hermit living in Senkai. Though she apparently has disciples, she doesn't teach them her ways, but rather treats them as servants. Her main goal is to achieve immortality, and then eventually become a celestial.

Possessions

The sword she holds is assumed to be Shichi-sei ken (七星剣), a Chinese-made sword originally owned by her namesake which was influenced by Taoism. It's one of two swords Prince Shotoku was most famous for.

Backstory

Toyosatomimi no Miko, as illustrated in Symposium of Post-mysticism

Toyosatomimi no Miko is the true identity of Prince Shoutoku, a politician and advocate of Buddhism in the sixth century. According to her profile, she was born in a stable, and was revered as a genius from a very young age, able to offer advice to people much older than her. She was all out in displaying her talents and abilities, but because of her genius, she was dissatisfied. She considered: "the earth hasn't changed from the age of the gods, and the seas are still filled to the brim. Why must humans be forced to accept death?" Upon this consideration however, she eventually turned against her natural fate as a human – to eventually die.

She was then approached by Seiga Kaku, a hermit who heard of the rumour of Miko and taught her the ways of Taoism. She was delighted at hearing that it was a religion that was a realisation of true immortality, but she also conveyed to Seiga that Taoism wasn't a religion suited for ruling a country.

They then hatched a plan: because Taoism isn't sufficient for calming the problems of an entire people, she took on the appearance of advocating for Buddhism instead, which preached peace. Seiga proposed the remedy that she would have the outwards appearance of having faith in Buddhism, a religion that has strict rules against the killing of any kind of life. Accepting the condition that in this way, the country would be stable.

As time passed, she progressed in her study of Taoism. As other people of political influence put faith in Buddhism, in accordance with her own instruction in Taoism, she demonstrated superhuman abilities and pulled off feats so unreal to the extent that in future generations, fictitious tales related to her became well-known. The legends that she left for future generations had this kind of behind-the-scenes to it.

Miko was not negligent of her final objective of achieving true immortality, but in the process, the cinnabar (mercury sulfide, a poisonous substance) that was supposed to bring about immortality, instead ruined her body. She made the judgment that she would not be able to hold onto her body like this and decided to become a shikaisen. However, Miko was afraid of implementing this all by herself. To test it, she asked Mononobe no Futo – though they were enemies on the surface – and Futo, also Taoist, agreed to put the curse of death on herself. They would become shikaisen and then be revived. Therefore, she relied on having Futo going to sleep first.

After Futo continued to sleep without decaying, Miko performed the ritual on herself. Her plan was to reawaken once the nation had outgrown Buddhism, they awaited their revival in the time of seeking sainthood. Unfortunately for her, Buddhism dominated the Japanese people for over a thousand years. In actuality, since Buddhist monks repeatedly sealed Miko's mausoleum with the power of Buddhism, she was unable to revive. Her plan was foiled.

Since there was no need to be in a hurry, she continued to wait until the time of her resurrection. People in general started disbelieving in the feats Miko had performed. Currently, there are definitely no illusion-like powers like humans who display superhuman abilities, so it was inevitable that her exploits were suspected to be fictitious.

However, due to this denial of illusion, she and the mausoleum moved to Gensokyo. When Miko finally was about to be resurrected, it was after the entire mausoleum had been transported to Gensokyo. There were no temples, so it was always possible for her to prepare for the revival. However, due to bad timing, a Buddhist temple had been built on top of the mausoleum to prevent her resurrection. Fortunately, the act did more to revive her than otherwise; the mausoleum was finally broken, and the divine spirits that were attracted to Miko overflowed throughout Gensokyo.

Character Design

Miko's appearance in Wild and Horned Hermit

Origin

Toyosatomimi no Miko is incarnation of the fictitious tales of Prince Shotoku (聖徳太子 Shoutoku Taishi, lit. "Prince Virtue"), real name Prince Umayado (厩戸皇子), who was a legendary regent and political figure of the Asuka period, living from 574/02/07–622/05/08. He was purportedly born in front of a horse stable, being named Umayado, lit. "Prince of the Stable Door" as a result. He was crucial in the spread of Buddhism in Japan and according to folklore, could comprehend ten simultaneous conversations, like his Touhou Project namesake. Because of this, he was also named Toyosatomimi (豊聡耳 lit. "abundant, clever ears") at very first, which would be soon pronounced as Toyotomimi for the same kanji. He eventually came to be recognized for his contributions and was seen as something like a saint, but some accounts of his life have also been subject to criticism and debate.[2][3]

Name

Her full name is Toyosatomimi no Miko (豊聡耳 神子). Her name comes from an alias of Prince Shotoku within the Nihon Shoki. Although the name Miko (神子) is usually used with pretty much the exact same meaning (but less common) as "Shrine Maiden" when it is written as "miko" (巫女), since Prince Shoutoku was a Prince of the imperial family, perhaps interpreting as "god's child" would make more sense. Her last name Toyosatomimi (豊聡耳) as mentioned above, is another name/title that Prince Shoutoku had, literally meaning "wealthy intelligent ears".

Design

In Ten Desires's official art, Miko has very light, almost platinum blonde hair, styled like horns or ears, as well as gray eyes. She wears purple headgear which has been described as both headphones[4] and earmuffs[5]. They bear the Chinese character meaning "Harmony" ( wa) which was used as the name of ancient Japan (Wa). Her clothes are a purple dress under a white vest with elaborate trimming. The colors used in her dress refers to the Twelve level cap and rank system: a famous political achievement that she (= Prince Shoutoku) made ("violet" [Greater Virtue] represents 1st rank and "purple" [Lesser Virtue] for 2nd rank.). She holds a shaku and carries a sword which is assumed to be the Seven Star Sword (七星剣 Shichi-sei ken) - a Taoism sword known to be worn by Prince Shoutoku in this portrait - on her waist.

In Sanae's ending of Ten Desires, it's shown that Prince Shotoku is historically seen as a bearded man, as his face is on old yen bills. Sanae is unable to figure out the reason for this discrepancy, although the fact that she was using an elementary school history textbook to research it probably didn't help.

Story

Miko as she appears in Ten Desires

Games

Ten Desires

Miko is the final boss of Ten Desires, appearing to the main character once they have made their way into the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum. The heroines all appear to fight her for no reason, but Miko welcomes the battle to aid in her resurrection. During the fight, she calls on Mononobe no Futo and Soga no Tojiko to assist her.

Miko has looked into Reimu's past and determined that she is an enemy, because she is a "friend" to the monks who would keep her sealed away. They end up battling for no real reason. In Reimu's normal ending, she appears to the shrine maiden and Marisa by coming out of the ground; she apologizes to them and invites them to visit her whenever they wish. They then go back to the Mausoleum and Reimu is impressed.

Marisa realizes that Miko is the one who has gathered all of the divine spirits here. Miko tells Marisa that she could never control her own desires, and the two start fighting.

As Sanae wonders about the name Mononobe, which she thinks she's heard before, Miko explains that the Mononobe clan was her enemy. She introduces herself as Prince Shoutoku, and invites Sanae to do battle with her.

When Miko meets Youmu, she observes that she lacks two of the "ten desires" – attachment to life, and envy of death. Miko mistakes her as a hermit because of it, and asks for a battle so that the two of them may be revived.

Hopeless Masquerade

Miko is one of the main religious proponents in Hopeless Masquerade, along with Reimu Hakurei and Byakuren Hijiri; she represents Taoism. She appears in the other characters' routes often as a main opponent. In her own storyline, after easily defeating Reimu, Marisa, and Ichirin Kumoi, she faces off against Byakuren. After telling her what a sham Buddhism is, Miko defeats her, finally earning the hearts of the people, which she promises to return. However, before she returns hope to the people, a doppelganger appears and summons a fake crowd. After Miko beats her, she is revealed to be Mamizou Futatsuiwa.

At this point, after the violent fight, Miko has lost all her faith, but after she defeats her again, Mamizou explains that someone has been draining the emotions from the Human Village at night. Miko goes there and meets Hata no Kokoro, the culprit. Miko recognizes her masks as those belonging to Hata no Kawakatsu, and speculates that they had become tsukumogami. These masks coalesced to form the youkai, Kokoro. Miko offers to create a new Mask of Hope for her to solve the incident, as she was the one that made her masks in the first place. After the events, Miko talks to Reimu about the masks and the manipulation of emotions that occurred. Miko has made a new mask in her own likeness for Kokoro, partly to get ahead in the religious conflict. With it, the incident should be resolved.

Impossible Spell Card

After apparently reading the newspaper by the tengu about a mischief-making amanojaku, she becomes one of the many strong youkai and humans to try and stop Seija Kijin. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.

Literature

Wild and Horned Hermit, chapter 18

During the pessimistic attitude gripping the Human Village during the events of Hopeless Masquerade, Miko receives a visit from Kasen Ibara. Miko bows to her, surprising everyone present. She tells Kasen that though she never actively sought out disciples, they came to her anyway because they idealize the concept of a hermit. Kasen asks her why she became a hermit in the first place, and Miko simply answers that she wanted to overcome her own humanity. She repeats Reimu's own thoughts about needing to provide religious service for those who have lost hope. As Miko sees her off, she mentions that she can feel a great power, far more than her own, coming from Kasen. Kasen insists she doesn't have disciples; just some animals. This greatly impresses Miko, who considers having animals as disciples is on another level from having humans as disciples. As they part, Kasen insists that she became a hermit to become closer to people, which surprises Miko.

Relationships

Taoist Allies

Miko has a few followers as part of her religion. Mononobe no Futo is an ally and a former enemy of Toyosatomimi no Miko. Futo acted as Miko's test subject during the process of immortality. Soga no Tojiko is an ally of Toyosatomimi no Miko. These two assists Miko during one of her spell cards.

Seiga Kaku is an ally of Toyosatomimi no Miko. Seiga was the one who taught Miko the charms of Taoism. Despite this, she feels Seiga would cause trouble down the line. Yoshika Miyako is a Jiang Shi controlled by Seiga who guarded Toyosatomimi no Miko's mausoleum during her resurrection; as of yet any interaction between the two have not been seen, whether in the past or present.

People from the Myouren Temple

The residence of the Myouren Temple is an enemy of Toyosatomimi no Miko and her allies. The existence of a Buddhist faction lead to the resurrection of the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum. The Buddhist monk Byakuren Hijiri's Myouren Temple was built above Miko's mausoleum; obstructing her resurrection. Nue Houjuu, a resident of the temple, called in Mamizou Futatsuiwa in order to fight against Miko.

Minor Relationships

Reimu Hakurei

Toyosatomimi no Miko has looked back Reimu Hakurei before she was born and mentions that there are things she can learn from her.

Hata no Kokoro

During the events of Hopeless Masquerade, Miko recognises Hata no Kokoro as the Tsukumogami Youkai of the 66 masks that Miko made for Hata no Kawakatsu, the legendary creator of Sarugaku (a form of Japanese theatre), before she was sealed. She subsequently promises to remake the lost mask of hope that originally caused Kokoro to go berserk, which is in the ending revealed to be a mask of Miko's own face.

Fujiwara no Mokou

Regarding certain theories supported by some historians, an interesting relationship arises between Miko and Fujiwara no Mokou. According to the theories, it's said that Mokou's supposedly father Fujiwara no Fuhito is one of the ones responsible to fabricate the fictional legend of Prince Shotoku[6]. However it should be noted that this is just an assumption made by going behind inspiration sources, and whether it may or may not be intentional is unknown.

Spell Cards

Additional Information

  • The butterfly that Miko uses in some attacks probably alludes to the story of Zhuangzi's butterfly dream, one of the most well-known Taoist philosophy stories.
  • Miko's left hand appears to have been drawn incorrectly on her Ten Desires portrait. Her fingers should be showing while her thumb should be hidden. Basically, it looks like she has two right hands. However, if you consider that the left hand's finger which the viewer sees is a pinky, everything looks normal.
  • With seven spell cards, Miko is the first final boss since the spell card system was introduced not to have either five or six spell cards (not including Kaguya Houraisan's last spells.)
  • Miko is the first and only game character whose precise age and birth date is known. Remilia Scarlet and Flandre Scarlet's years of birth are known but not their actual birth date and Chiyuri Kitashirakawa and Yumemi Okazaki's ages are known, but not their birth date.
  • She's also the only final boss who is vulnerable when the player uses a bomb in her final spell card.
  • In Miko's spell cards, the background features the Five-storied Pagoda of Hōryū-ji. Hōryū-ji is a Buddhist temple commissioned by Prince Shotoku.
  • Miko's conflict with Byakuren and shared use of Buddhism appears to be a shout out to Hokuto No Ken where Miko is Raoh, a conqueror whereas Byakuren is Toki, their shared use of Buddhism for difference uses mirrors that of Hokuto Shinken in the said series.
  • The group of men next to her spirit bar in Hopeless Masquerade is a direct reference to the "Gaijin 4koma", better known as the "Reaction Guys" meme in the western world (particularly their excited state).
  • In Hopeless Masquerade, Toyosatomimi no Miko uses a Cape for teleportation to transport between Space; this is highly similar to how Funny Valentine from Bizarre Adventure uses the Betsy Ross flag to hop between dimensions. This ability of teleportation also has similarities to Yukari Yakumo and her gaps.
    • In the latest update (1.30v) Guard Poses were added, and coincidentally Miko's pose highly resembles "DOJYAA~~N" pose of Funny Valentine.

Fandom

Miko is working her way up in fanon. Although she is new among the fanbase, she has become very popular.

  • Masuda Kousuke's work Gag Manga Biyori (ギャグマンガ日和) is a major source for fandom, as Prince Shoutoku appears in it.
  • Because of her known birthdate, a lot of fans stated that they would be celebrating Miko's birthday every February 7.
  • Due to her headphones and her rather modern looking outfit, she's sometimes compared with vocaloids despite not showing any ability to sing.
  • One of her alternate palettes in Hopeless Masquerade resembles Neku Sakuraba of The World Ends With You fame.
  • Japanese fans use "Miko-tan in shitao!" (みこたんインしたお!). As there was already the precedent of Mokou's "Moko-tan in shitao!", and as there's also the influence of the endings of Ten Desires, this is something that one can comparatively quickly catch sight of.

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. Hopeless Masquerade: Shukuchi Cape skill card
  2. http://www.japanesehistory.org/cgi-bin/people.pl?shotoku
  3. http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/hata-lost-identity-shotoku-con.html
  4. Ten Desires special and two-part interview with ZUN
  5. Symposium of Post-mysticism: Toyosatomimi no Miko
  6. Wikipedia - Theories of Prince Shotoku being a fictitious figure (Japanese).
  7. A reference to Article III of the Seventeen-article constitution written by Prince Shoutoku.